Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Northern Birds Are Fatter!

Date:
April 5, 2006
Source:
Society for Experimental Biology
Summary:
"The further birds migrate north for the summer, the faster they put on weight," says Dr Williams (Simon Fraser University, Canada) who has been tracking migrating birds for several years. "This research may have implications for the designation of protected areas which will ensure birds can complete their spring and autumn migrations." Williams will report his research on Western Sandpipers, which migrate from Mexico to Alaska.

"The further birds migrate north for the summer, the faster they put on weight", says Dr Williams (Simon Fraser University, Canada) who has been tracking migrating birds for several years. "This research may have implications for the designation of protected areas which will ensure birds can complete their spring and autumn migrations." Dr Williams will present his research on Tuesday 4th April at the Society for Experimental Biology's Annual Main Meeting in Canterbury [session A4].

Related Articles


"Our data can be used to assess habitat quality and the importance of specific sites for migratory birds, and this can contribute to decisions about whether migratory sites are protected and which sites are prioritised for protection", explains Williams.

Two techniques were used to study Western Sandpipers on their spring journey along the Pacific 'Flyway' from Mexico to Alaska: 80 birds were fitted with radio-telemetry tracking devices and a further 400 had blood samples taken to give measurements of fattening rate. Williams found that birds fatten more rapidly as they move further north -- as they get closer to the breeding grounds - and that the longer the birds spend hanging around at San Francisco Bay (one of the more southerly refuelling sites), the lower their fattening rates.

Such differences in fattening rates cannot simply be explained by differences in the availability of food. "Our current thinking is that the difference in fattening could be caused by differences in behaviour (birds simply feed more intensively in the north) or changes in physiology that the birds experience as they move further north", says Williams. "We know there are major differences in gut structure and digestive enzymes between non-migrating and migrating birds, so there might also be similar alterations in migrating bird's physiology further north, which allow more efficient digestion."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for Experimental Biology. "Northern Birds Are Fatter!." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 April 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060404085745.htm>.
Society for Experimental Biology. (2006, April 5). Northern Birds Are Fatter!. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060404085745.htm
Society for Experimental Biology. "Northern Birds Are Fatter!." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060404085745.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins